Trump stunned US officials when he called Egyptian President el-Sisi 'my favourite dictator' at the G7

Associated PressPresident Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, left, at the G7 summit.
  • President Donald Trump astonished US officials at the G7 summit in France when he jokingly referred to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi as “my favourite dictator.”
  • Trump made the comments while waiting to meet with the Egyptian president, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.
  • He searched over a gathering of Egyptian and US officials and loudly called out: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
  • The Journal reported that Trump’s question was met with a shocked silence.
  • Trump’s comments cast attention on his coziness with authoritarian leaders overseas.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump astonished US officials at the G7 summit in France when he jokingly referred to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi as “my favourite dictator.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, Trump made the comments while waiting to meet with the Egyptian president. He searched over a gathering of Egyptian and US officials and loudly called out: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”

The Journal reported that Trump’s question was met with a shocked silence. It was unclear whether el-Sisi heard the remarks.

The White House declined Insider’s request for comment.

Trump’s comments cast attention on his coziness with authoritarian leaders overseas. Others he has lavished praise on include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.


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El-Sisi seized power in a military coup that ousted Egypt’s first elected government in 2013. And he has racked up accusations of gross human-rights violations that include imprisoning tens of thousands of political opponents, crushing press freedom, and torturing and killing prisoners. The Egyptian government has justified its actions by saying it is combating extremism.

Shortly after he took office, Trump welcomed el-Sisi to the White House for the first time and said he had “done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.” The Trump administration has not publicly criticised the Egyptian government’s abysmal human-rights record.

During the G7 summit, Trump lauded his relationship with the Egyptian strongman before reporters, saying, “We understood each other very well. He’s a very tough man, I will tell you that. But he’s also a good man, and he’s done a fantastic job in Egypt. Not easy.”

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